Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico (KDBC) — Despite the many years of violence and challenging situations the city of Juarez is in the brink of a strong revitalization with new parks, roads, transportation system and even a state of the art Children's museum.
Juarez officials say the purpose of all these new projects is to bring new recreation spaces for all residents and to change the damaged image of the city.
Ciudad Juarez is home for more than 1 million people. It's diversity is composed of Mexican nationals from different states that arrive in the search for jobs in the fast growing maquila sector.
But the fast economic development was affected after the drug war violence hit an all time high in 2008.
Today the once vibrant city is working to raise up, remodel it's infrastructure and quality of life with new roads, parks, recreation centers and museums.
"Juárez has changed a lot we can say that we're not even close to what the situation was 6 years ago we acknowledge that there are still a lot of issues but we're working," City of Juarez Public Works Director Manuel Ortega Rodriguez said.
The city's 900 million dollar facelift project for 2014 includes 2 new hospitals, a downtown remake, a new public gym and 3 community parks.
Juarez residents say revitalizing the city is important.
"I think it's good because people have an opportunity to go out to better places and it really unites families," resident Alma Cisneros Meza said.
Aside from public works other centers like La Rodadora opened, an interactive children's museum that houses more than 100 exhibits with state of the art technology.
"It takes more than 12 hours to tour the museum it's a great opportunity there's not a museum like this in our region we invite all our friends and brothers from El Paso to visit the new Juarez." Museum Board Director Alfonso Murguia said.
"We already have visitors from El Paso and yes we have exhibitions in English and Spanish and here you can play with everything you don't need to speak English or Spanish you're here to have fun," Museum coordinator Jorgelina Higuera added.
City officials say their goal is to bring Juarez back to its glory days.
"I don't think El Paso and Juarez compete we coordinate, we are a little bit behind that's because of the economic situation but we'll make it happen," Ortega said.
According to the city's public works director the new roads in the Juarez downtown area will be open in the last weeks of January while construction of the new historic district will begin next year.